It was imports, but one with a familiar face, who played for the Fresno Easter Baseball Classic championship Wednesday night at Clovis West High’s Stan Bledsoe Field.
And it was Santana-Santee (12-6) of the San Diego Section and former Clovis East coach Rigo Ledezma that won 3-1 against Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove (12-3) of the Sac-Joaquin.
Santana is the fourth non-Central Section winner in the tournament’s 48-year history. Others were Merced (1978) of the Sac-Joaquin, El Cerrito (1983) of the North Coast and Beyer-Modesto (1990) of the Sac-Joaquin.
There were 13 non-Central Section teams, most from the Sacramento area, in this year’s 34-team field.
Santana, a suburban San Diego school, was playing 350 miles from home in the final after defeating Clovis 7-0, Sunnyside 10-0, Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove 8-2 and, finally, Redwood 11-0 on Wednesday morning – against a 19-0 Rangers team ranked 18th in the state by Cal-Hi Sports.
Pleasant Grove was ranked 17th in the state.
Santana and Pleasant Grove each went 4-0 in the three-day, 34-team tournament’s regular phase.
Santana made an immediate statement Monday night with its victory at three-year reigning Classic champion Clovis, which is 18-3-1 and eighth-ranked in the state.
Clovis went 3-1, closing with a 3-1 homefield win over Reedley. The Pirates had won their first three tournament games.
Pleasant Grove closed the regular phase with a 2-0 win over Edison at Hoover.